Music Now

Contemporary Live Music Funding Program

Vyva Entertainment, Mirrah and L-FRESH The LION performing live at the annual 4Elements HipHop Festival (4ESydney) in Bankstown, 2017. Photo: Snappatronik.

Vyva Entertainment, Mirrah and L-FRESH The LION performing live at the annual 4Elements HipHop Festival (4ESydney) in Bankstown, 2017. Photo: Snappatronik.

This funding category has now closed.

Application assessment update

If your project was commencing in May, you should have received a phone call from us already letting you know about the change of dates.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on or 02 8289 6520.

The NSW Government through Create NSW and the Office of Responsible Gambling is committing $1million to support the presentation of contemporary live music in NSW.

The Music Now Contemporary Live Music Funding program will invest in a program of activities, events or performances that support NSW musicians to present new work and increase participation in live music events across the state.


  • Encourage NSW venues to program more live music events
  • Increase audience participation in live music events
  • Support the presentation of original musical work by NSW musicians
  • Increase paid employment opportunities for artists; and
  • Increase the sustainability of the contemporary music sector.

Closing dates and timeframe

  • Applications open: 31 January 2019.
  • Applications close: 14 March 2019.

Projects must start after 1 May 2019 and be completed by 31 December 2020.

Who can apply?

  • Venues (including pubs and clubs), promoters, or a collective of musicians.
  • Organisations already in receipt of program funding from Create NSW are eligible to apply, however, the project must sit outside their core activities.
  • For-profit organisations are eligible to apply if the activity takes place on a break-even basis.

What you can apply for

Funding of up to $40,000 is available for a one-off, series or an annual program of live music events held in NSW.

Examples of funding opportunities could include, but are not limited to:

  • a series of public presentation opportunities for independent musicians
  • a series of outdoor live music events or a festival
  • a program of club nights for emerging hip hop/experimental/electronic musicians.


The information on this page is a guide only. Before you apply, please read the Music Now funding program guidelines for more comprehensive information, including special eligibility requirements, assessment criteria and support material for this funding category.

Online applications will open on 31 January 2019.

For the purposes of this Program, “contemporary music” is defined as:

  • Original musical works (including works that involve sampling), or reinterpretations of other composers’ work.

“Live music” is defined as:

  • A musical performance by an artist or artists that are engaging instruments and/or singing in front of an audience. The performance can be by a single musician, a band, group or choral or instrumental ensemble. This includes but is not limited to jazz, rock, blues, electronic, experimental, orchestral, ensemble, acoustic, dance, hip hop, acapella, and folk.

If you have a contemporary live music activity which you believe fits this funding program but is not listed in the above definitions, please contact Create NSW to discuss.

Apply now

To apply for funding you will need to complete and submit the relevant application form through our secure online grants system, SmartyGrants.

Need advice on your application?

For further assistance in making an application or clarification on Guidelines, please contact:

Lachlan Herd
(02) 8289 6437 or via email


The Funding and Development team
(02) 8289 6520 or via email

Need this information in another format?

If you’re an applicant with disability, you can ask for this information in a format that’s accessible to you. Contact Create NSW (between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday):

From inside NSW (02) 8289 6520

Via email

If you’re deaf or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service:

TTY users Phone 133 677 then ask for (02) 8289 6520.

Speaker and Listen users Phone 1300 555 727 then ask for (02) 8289 6520.

Internet Relay users Connect to the NRS then ask for (02) 8289 6520.

Need this information in another language?

If you would like to talk about your application in your first language, you can ask for an interpreter through the Translating and Interpreting Service. Contact Create NSW for more information.

Need a printed application form?

Regional applicants with unreliable internet connections can ask to use a printed application form. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, contact Create NSW before the closing date.

Related funding programs & resources

Activate Sydney@Night Grants


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